Archive for the ‘Guy B. Johnson’ Category

Author: Guy B. Johnson
Source: Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, vol. 22 (1927-28), pp 12-20
Reprinted and commented in: Alan Dundes, Mother Wit; from the laughing Barrel, 1990, pp-258-266


Double meaning and the metaphoric style were among the main features of African verbal art, and they have been transported to the blues. In this article, Guy B. Johnson (1901–1991),  sociologist and social anthropologist and a distinguished student of black culture in the rural South, deals with one of the subjects of metaphoric verbal art: sex (both the act and the designation of the sexual organs).


Authors: Howard Odum & Guy Johson


1926. Negro workaday songs. University of North Carolina Press


Howard Odum can be said to be a pioneer in the study of the social life and folk culture of the South.

Negro Workaday Songs, published in 1926, reprinted in 1969, is one of his key works.

Odum, Howard Washington, (May 24, 1884 – Nov. 8, 1954), sociologist, was born near Bethlehem, Ga., the son of William Pleasants Odum and Mary Ann Thomas Odum. He grew up in modest circumstances on his family’s small farm. His formal education was a product of hard work, borrowed money, and happy coincidence. At the age of thirteen the family moved to Oxford, Ga., where he attended Emory Academy and College, graduating in 1904 with the B.A. degree in English and classics. Negro Workaday Songs is the third volume of a series of folk background studies of which The Negro and His Songs was the first and Folk-Beliefs of the Southern Negro was the second. So far as Odum was aware, none of the songs in this collection had been published and the songs were all sung or repeated by actual Black workers or singers and much of their value lies in the exact transcription of natural lines, words and mixtures. Odum intended his study of Black music as a series of pictures of the Black American as portrayed through his workaday songs.He has taken the position that these workaday songs, crude and fragmentary, and often having only local or individual significance, provide a more accurate picture of Negro working life than do conventional folk songs. Odum’s book is also an important contribution to the history of the blues in America and a collector’s item in that field



Authors: Howard W. Odum and Guy B. Johnson


Howard Washington Odum (1884-1954 was an American sociologist. Odum was known for collecting facts, ranging from oral history (including documentation of folk songs) to agricultural data. His book ‘Race and Rumors of Race’ is considered to be the earliest documentation of the civil rights movement. Odum’s views on race progressed over time and ultimately he was a progressive leader, documenting folk life, hate crimes/lynchings, and rich oral histories of the South. His work is difficult to classify under one discipline, although he identified most with sociology while being deeply committed to social welfare.

Guy B. Johnson (1901) 1991) was also a sociologist and social anthropologist, a distinguished student of black culture in the rural South and a pioneer advocate of racial equality. His main writings were on southern Black folk culture and U.S. race relations, his interests and accomplishments were broad. In Folk Culture, he analyzed the Gullah dialect of English spoken by blacks on that isolated South Carolina island and, in sophisticated technical detail, the musical structure of the spirituals they sang to support a new interpretation of black folk culture.

In The “Negro and His Songs”, both analyse the typical Negro Songs of the South.

The publication dates from 1925.